Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Republicans Should Prepare For Obama's Ultimatum

An early winter has descended on the northeast, ushered in by a 100 year storm that has left the coastal portions of much of the mid-Atlantic and northeastern states reeling.  Our quadrennial demonstration of the degree to which the entire country is divided and politically irreconcilable was once again upon us last night. 

It's hard to put the political season into words better than those. 

Moving into last night's contest, the only things we could be sure of was that climatic change would leave us exposed to more frequent storms in the future (although half the country seems intent on disagreeing with that statement), and that our federal government would remain deeply divided and dysfunctional.

The most concise description of modern government I've heard thus far. 

President Obama's victory last night provides the country with an opportunity that was, unfortunately, squandered during the president's first term. The White House, chastened by a narrow victory and benefiting from the freedom to operate that historically characterizes second term Democratic administrations, is likely to move into next week and next year with a far more combative message than the milquetoast and entirely elusive "bi-partisanship" of the president's first term.

Moreover, the Republicans in the House of Representatives, and to a lesser extent in the Senate, will today come face to face with the reality that their message could not defeat a Democratic president suffering from a nearly 8% unemployment rate, and a massive 14.5% underemployment rate, to say nothing of a generally anemic economy and a lackluster set of policy responses to same.


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